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A Nurse Navigator with Firsthand Experience

October 18, 2022
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is emotional and can be overwhelming. At the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Comprehensive Breast Care Center, dedicated nurse navigators guide patients through their options, coordinate their care, and counsel them along the way. For Susan Simeon, BSN, RN, OCN, it’s incredibly personal work. In 2020, Simeon was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Suddenly, I was being counseled about chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and all the treatments I had discussed with patients for the last decade,” she said. “I was given the opportunity to go through treatment myself, even though I didn’t want that opportunity.”

During her treatment, Simeon was led through the process by GBMC nurse navigator Barb Raksin, RN. After Raksin retired, a full circle moment presented itself when Simeon stepped into the nurse navigator role, using her experience as a patient to help others.

“I want to show patients that they can get through their treatment, too. I went through treatment, and it was not easy, but it is doable,” she said. “One thing that gives me a lot of confidence being a nurse navigator here at GBMC is that we stay on top of the best and latest treatments for every patient patient. Each of us in this specialty wants to help people with cancer live longer.

“I felt very supported through my treatment at GBMC. From my surgeon, Dr. Sara Fogarty, to my medical oncologist, Dr. Priyanka Mittar, to my radiation oncologist, Dr. Kruti Patel, and the nurses and medical assistants. Along the way, I felt very cared for.”

Patients who receive their cancer care at GBMC often feel compelled to donate to support the nurses who were so instrumental to their care. This support is an investment in professional development, continuing education, and support of GBMC nurses.

“It really means the world to us as employees when the community gives back in thanks,” Simeon said.

Philanthropy is the cornerstone of ensuring GBMC remains a top destination for top nursing talent, and that, once here, nurses can grow in their careers, like Susan did. To support nurses like Susan in flourishing at GBMC as they serve patients and further their education, donate in their honor today.
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